Deep Diving Procedures
Deep Diving - Boat Support
It should be readily apparent that deep diving requires considerable organization and equipment and, therefore, the amount of support required is much higher than for normal diving. Deep diving is certainly easier to conduct if carried out from the more spacious platform of a charter vessel rather than a small, cramped inflatable. The larger vessel is usually equipped with an echo sounder, position-fixing equipment, radio and ample deck space on which to organize the equipment.
A spacious inflatable can provide a platform for deep diving operations. It will probably require a somewhat higher degree of pre-planning and thought to achieve the same level of comfort and safety when compared with charter vessels. The use of echo sounder and radio is recommended. Two inflatables, operating as a team, provide a good safe, platform in most conditions.
Buddy Diving Procedure
Individual preparations should be fastidious, yet relaxed, personal diving equipment should be checked thoroughly. The dive leader and his buddy must plan their particular dive to fit into the overall diving plan with particular emphasis on time, air consumption, routes to and from the dive site and any other details. Diver familiarisation with his or her buddies equipment is crucial, it should go beyond the usual cursory look-and-see checks common to shallow water dives, touching and getting a feel for how the equipment operates is very important. It may seem over-bearing but the idiosyncrasies of a divers rig could mean the difference between an emergency or a minor hitch when underwater.
Descending to the dive site should be done without any timewasting or delay, precious bottom time is being used up all the time, something much more important in deep diving. At the dive site keep your buddy in sight at all times and ensure that whenever a direction change is carried out that they are aware of it. Running a reel off the shotline or ascending point is a vital practice for navigating at depth, with it you can go into the darkest depths and always be ready for returning with no fear of losing your way. Narcosis monitoring is essential too, both in yourself and your buddy. Narcosis is a strange companion in many ways, it seems to be ever present from the 35 - 40 meter point onwards, but with experience and a keen mind on the task it hand should not prove overwhelming unless you proceed very deep indeed. If the narcosis is becoming a serious problem then give a clear signal to abort the dive and return to the surface.
Always allow enough time to return to the shotline, reduced visibility and narcosis loadings may delay you somewhat. On the ascent dump off air at a gradual rate to leave a positive buoyancy bias so that when you reach the first deco. stop you should have used little or no effort to get there, while at the same time ascended safely i.e not like the rocket man!
Deep diving, both by recreational and technical divers is amongst the most challenging areas of the diving world. Any would-be deep diver must be ready for the risks and dangers faced by descending into the depths...